Right next to the main train station in the city center of Zagreb you’ll be able to find your luxurious “home away from home”. Travel back to the times of the Orient Express in the beautiful Esplanade Hotel Zagreb, which welcomed its first guests already in 1925. While entering the lobby you’ll be enchanted by the classic details in Art Nouveau style that are still remaining after the last renovation in 2004.
The award-winning interior designer Maria Vafiadis had the mission to renovate the hotel and return it to its original glory. Mission accomplished: marble, a concierge, chandeliers, bellboys… it literally feels like time traveling back to the 1920s, yet the hotel does offer you 21st century comforts with all the modern luxury.
The concierge gave me a tour in the hotel and did not only show me all the beauty of the hotel, but did also tell me everything about the history up until nowadays events. I really believe that the staff is proud to be working in the Esplanade and feels passionate by fulfilling their tasks.
So if you are looking for a luxury hotel in Zagreb I guess you can already feel which one I would recommend.
History of the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb
The hotel was built on a vast open field, close to the railway station which was one of the stops of the prestigious Orient Express on the route between Paris-Venice-Istanbul. The opening ceremony was on 22nd of April 1925 with over 200 distinguished guests. The opinion was “Once you step inside, the experience is worth mentioning to your grandchildren”, and the concierge of the hotel told me that the people of Zagreb and the guests still feel this way.
You don’t have to be an A-list movie star, the president of the USA or a millionaire to feel more than welcome in the Esplanade Hotel and to be treated with world-class hospitality. But the list of famous guests that visited over the years is something to be amazed about. In the hallway that leads to the 24h gym and sauna is a photo gallery where you can see the celebrities, sportsmen, statesmen and politicians. Will Traveltomtom be the next one on the wall? 😉
Esplanade Hotel Zagreb Anno 2022
The hotel has 208 rooms divided over six floors. Staying in room 114 gave me a view over the beautiful terrace and the fountain. Logically the higher your floor is, the more view you’ll get over the city.
With at the sixth floor the suite with the beautiful window that you’ll see on the pictures of the outside of the hotel.
The beautiful designed rooms are very spacious and equipped with everything you need: a king-size bed; a marble bathroom with bath, rain shower and toiletries; a sitting area and a desk to work on, including super fast internet and a smart-tv.
The Esplanade Hotel Zagreb offers a 24h gym and sauna. Besides the free use of these facilities, you can also book extra treatments such as massages, but you have to pay extra for these.
The hotel has become a favorite meeting place for business people, celebrities and journalists, because it has beautiful spacious rooms for these kind of business, named after the stops of the Orient Express. But the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb is not just for business. It’s even better suited for the most special day in your life: your wedding! After a toast on the terrace you can do your first dance in the beautiful Emerald Ballroom and make it a night to remember.
So if you are looking for a luxury hotel in Zagreb with class you know Traveltomtom would recommend the majestic Esplanade Hotel.
Restaurants & Bar
The Esplanade has two restaurants and one bar/lounge. If you want to enjoy your meal in the room, there is also a 24h room service.
Le Bistro Restaurant
You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to have dinner in this more casual restaurant of the Esplanade and therefore you will also find locals here enjoying a delicious meal. The menu is filled with fresh local ingredients in seasonal specialties. Le Bistro shows a little more simplicity and trendiness in comparison to the hotel, but with it’s elegance, lovely staff and pleasant ambience it’s a perfect place for dinner. Try the Menu du Jour if you want to be surprised by the daily-changing 3-course set menus, but you can also eat à la carte.
Zinfandel’s is the fine dining restaurant of the Esplanade. The restaurant is named after the grape Zinfandel which symbolizes the interconnectedness of cultures meeting at the restaurant.
The breakfast is also served here in the morning. Take a sip of your orange juice, tea or coffee while your à la carte choice is freshly made in the kitchen. Besides the menu is also a walking buffet with fresh fruit, ham, cheeses, sweet pastry and the world-famous Esplanade Strukli. You can add the breakfast to you reservation.
Here is a TikTok video of Traveltomtom having an amazing lunch with his friends at Zinfandel's.
@traveltomtom Fish baked in salt! #finedining #zagreb #deliciousfood #zagrebtiktok #esplanadehotel #zagreb🇭🇷 #croatianfood #croatiafulloflife #🇭🇷 #tiktokcroatia ♬ original sound - Traveltomtom
Esplanade 1925 Lounge & Cocktail Bar
Your wish for a morning coffee, afternoon tea or an evening cocktail can be fulfilled in the bar of the Esplanade. With indoor and outdoor sitting area this is the perfect place if you’re not in the mood for going out, but still want to enjoy a nice drink.
Travel tips for visiting Zagreb
All the highlights of Zagreb are located in walking distance from the Esplanade Hotel. I have to admit that I did not have the highest expectations about the capital of Croatia prior to my visit to this city, but I was already convinced of the beauty after a short walk in the city centre! You can see the highlights of Zagreb and its things to do in one day, but you can easily fill up two or three days without being bored.
Zagreb is divided in a lower and an upper town with both completely different architecture. They are connected with each other by stairs and steep streets, but another possibility is to ride in one of the shortest funiculars in the world for $0.5 to get from one to the other.
Upper Town is the oldest part of the city where you can find a lot of the touristic hotspots, such as the St. Mark’s church with a beautiful mosaic roof, Stone gate, Museum of the broken relationships and the imposing Zagreb Cathedral.
I just loved getting lost in this part of the city. At the edge of Upper Town is the Strossmayer promenade (here you can also find the funicular) where you can enjoy the views over the rooftops of Lower Town.
If you’ll be here at noon you can see and hear the cannon shot that is blast from the Lorščak Tower everyday as a local tradition.
In Lower Town you can find a lot of beautiful Art-Nouveau architecture. You’ll see the best of these buildings and lovely green parks by walking from the Ban Jelačić Square to Zagreb Glavni Kolod train station, which is the main train station right next to the Esplanade Hotel.
The more time you have, the more you can extend this route as there are many cool places to visit in Zagreb.
Are you traveling to Croatia and looking for the best way to stay connected? Click here for a complete guide for buying a sim card in Croatia or check out my guide for buying a sim card at Zagreb Airport on arrival.
Complete the quest of the Zagreb solar system
If you want to explore the city in a different kind of way than the other tourists I can recommend to walk in the city centre while looking for the planets of our solar system. The location of the planets is not random at all, because the system in a scaled model of the real one by 1:680.000.000. Because of the scale you will not find all the planets in central Zagreb, but until Jupiter or Saturn it’s a doable distance.
Esplanade Hotel Zagreb Review
This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Margot. She stayed at the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb on behalf of Traveltomtom and wrote this blog about her experiences.
“Staying in this 5* hotel was a magical experience and literally a dream coming true! After completing a short Euro trip and traveling on a budget, it was an indulgence to end my trip in a ‘little’ more luxury. However, the Esplanade Zagreb still is a hotel in a price range most of us can possibly afford and is definitely worth to save some money for if you have something to celebrate.”
Thank you so much for reading my review about my stay at Esplanade Hotel Zagreb! I hope you are inspired to treat yourself during a city trip to Zagreb with a stay in the beautiful luxurious hotel that reminded me a little of being on the Orient Express.
May you have any questions please leave us a comment below.
Tom, the founder of Traveltomtom also often stayed at Esplanade Hotel Zagreb and is an equally big fan. It is his favorite place to stay in Zagreb by far.
Enjoy your trip to Zagreb!